Aleksandar Mitrovic makes it 8 in 8 for Serbia – Watch his goal here
Aleksandar Mitrovic was expected by many to be leaving Newcastle United this summer but the striker survived deadline day on Thursday.
Less than 48 hours later he is at it again for Serbia.
Whilst Rafa Benitez has shown little faith in his number 45 over the past 18 months at St James Park, Mitrovic has continued to be first choice for his country.
After a disastrous failed 2014 European Championships qualifying campaign, they desperately needed to bounce back in the group games for Russia 2018, with the Serbian football public far from happy with the standard of football and the in-fighting within the national squad.
Going into Saturday afternoon’s game with Moldova, Serbia were level on points with the Republic of Ireland and top of Group D only on goal difference.
Only the top team in each group automatically goes through, with the best eight runners-up in the nine European groups being drawn in play-offs with four winners of those games also qualifying for Russia next year.
Serbia have beaten Moldova 3-0 and once again, the Newcastle striker was on the scoresheet (watch the goal below), scoring in the 81st minute to complete the scoring and then subbed only a minute later.
Mitrovic has now scored eight goals in his last eight internationals, a remarkable record.
Today’s goal has been the perfect lift for Mitro, as he can’t play for Newcastle again until the home match against Liverpool on 1 October, due to his retrospective red card from the West Ham game.
Elsewhere today, the Republic of Ireland had Ciaran Clark playing the full game and Rob Elliot on the bench. They took an early lead in Georgia but ended the match with a disappointing draw.
Wales host Austria tonight and then on Tuesday it is the big one, Serbia travel to play the Republic of Ireland – a game that could decide the group winners.
Group D table now looks like this:
15 Serbia (GD +9) – Played 7
13 R. of Ireland (+4) – Played 7
8 Wales (+4) – Played 6
8 Austria (+1) – Played 6
4 Georgia (-4) – Played 7
2 Moldova (-14) – Played 7
— NUFCThreatLevel (@NUFCThreatLevel) September 2, 2017
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